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Inside groundbreaking marijuana research happening across the state

The Institute of Cannabis Research is funding 21 long term studies
marijuana
Posted at 6:20 PM, Sep 14, 2023

PUEBLO — As recreational and marijuana use has increased across the country with multiple states having legalized the plant, researchers say information about cannabis has been inadequate. Researchers with the Institute of Cannabis Research at CSU Pueblo are trying to change that.

"The responsibility of scientists is to figure out whether there are positive outcomes or not," said Director Chad Kinney. "As the stance for cannabis in the country is changing, the needs for research are changing as well".

The ICR gets its yearly funding from the Marijuana Cash Tax Fund. That fund is contributed to through a sales tax people pay for when purchasing at a dispensary. In total, they are funding 21 long-term projects.

"The potential is limitless to me," says student researcher Brandon Blanchard.

Blanchard is working with another student, Jalen Gordon, to measure the effects light, sound, and oxidation can have on the potency of CBD.

"I want to identify, kind of what's going on there, to help people be hopefully more safe in their use at home," said Gordon.

Blanchard originally decided to work with the ICR in his undergraduate years at CSU Pueblo after medicinal cannabis helped his family.

"I wanted to be able to dig in deeper and figure out, 'Why? Why did it help?' How can I make it help more?," he continued.

Some of the studies ICR is funding include looking at the possible recovery process marijuana can help traumatic brain injuries, children with autism, and post-operational care. They are also looking into ways to identify brain wave activity to tell if someone is actively high since blood and urine tests are unable to do so.

"That will then inform the ability to create roadside assistance devices, and that will also help with forming better regulations," said Biology Professor Jeff Smith who works with the ICR. "Our research, science, is unbiased, academic research that is aimed entirely at determining the truth".

For a full list of the studies ICR is funding, you can visit their website.

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